Ten tips to stop you freezing in the office
Brrr! The icy chills of winter can really get us down. While some people here at Lake Constance spend their spare time out on the frozen lake (don’t try this at home!), many office workers all around Germany are having the same discussion they have every year – about the ideal room temperature. Although the Workplaces Ordinance specifies a minimum temperature of 20 degrees for light work (activities carried out while sitting), this is still too cold for many people, and in particular it’s true that women are always freezing in the office – and men aren’t. With my ten tips to combat the cold you can cosy up for the winter in your office.
1. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Appropriate clothing
If you have to cope with temperatures below zero on the way to work, either on foot or by bus and rail, you need to be well-prepared so that you aren’t cold by the time you arrive at the office. Tried-and-tested tactics to combat the cold weather include insoles in your shoes and several layers of clothing. If the “onion principle” brings no relief, technical clothing such as thermal trousers can achieve a warming effect.
2. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Warming oils
Before you even set off on your commute to work, you can use selected essential oils against the cold. My favourites: cinnamon or rosemary oil. If you massage the oils into the skin using circular movements, the oils give off a cosy warmth when the temperature is frosty – and they even smell pretty good too.
3. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Confronting the cold
As long as you have the right gear, a winter walk can help to beat the cold too – for instance in your lunchbreak. The fact is, if you move from a cold environment into a warm one – i.e. coming in from outside – your blood vessels dilate and a feeling of warmth spreads through your body. Incidentally the same effect can be achieved with Kneipp therapy. Perhaps you’re even brave enough for a little barefoot walk through the snow!?
4. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Dynamic sitting
Once you’ve arrived at the office, it’s important to change posture on your office chair frequently – not just at low temperatures, but especially then. If you spend too long in one position, it inhibits the blood circulation and your limbs will cool down. But with the new Connex2, dynamic sitting is child’s play thanks to its three-dimensional seat movement, because dynamic left-right movements support your natural motion impulse.
5. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Making movement part of your daily routine
If you’re already in the habit of varying your sitting position on your work chair, you’ll find it easy to take the next step and bring movement into your daily routine. For example I always choose the printer furthest away from my desk to get in a few extra steps. Meetings held standing up, or special yoga exercises for the office are good opportunities to keep moving and keep cold at bay.
6. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Autosuggestion
I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “Think warm thoughts”, but did you know that it’s more than just a saying? Anyone who does autogenic training regularly will have noticed how muscle groups relax, blood flows more easily and a feeling of soothing warmth spreads around the body.
7. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Laughing
20 seconds of hearty laughter is equivalent to running fast for two minutes – according to laughter researcher and neurologist Professor William Fry. So laughter warms you from within, and above all guarantees a cheerful mood in the workplace.
8. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Eating and drinking
Did you know that in Chinese medicine tropical fruits such as banana, kiwi etc. are considered to have cooling energy? I think that seems quite logical, so in winter I tend to go for warming foods like ginger, nuts or goat’s cheese. It’s worth experimenting – and tastes great at lunchtime.
9. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Heat and ventilate properly
Although I struggle a little myself with this one: fresh air is essential even when the temperature’s below zero. To make sure the whole office doesn’t cool right down, it makes more sense to open the windows wide for a short time than to leave them in the tilt position all day. Another tip: don’t turn the heating right down over the weekend either. If you let the walls of a building cool down completely it takes a long time to heat the rooms up again.
10. Tips to stop you freezing in the office: Technical aids
I used to have a portable heater at hand every time the mercury dropped – but honestly, those little things are real energy guzzlers! Luckily I can resort to a better alternative these days without feeling guilty: the Klöber Klimastuhl. There’s just one button on the side of the seat to choose between two heat levels, and the seat and back are heated up to a maximum of 37 degrees in an instant. The clever bit: if you use the Klöber Klimastuhl, you can reduce the room temperature and therefore save energy. Even reducing the temperature by just one degree can lower heating costs by six per cent.